Nicollette Sheridan Targeted for Death By OJ

3/7/2012 1:25 PM PST

Nicollette Sheridan Targeted for Death by OJ

Nicollette Sheridan
's character on "Desperate Housewives" was set to die, long before Marc Cherry struck her ... and the code name for her demise was OJ.

Marc Cherry testified today in the trial -- where Nicollette is suing Cherry and ABC for wrongful termination -- that the writers were playing with scenarios for killing her off months before the now-famous blowup.  Cherry produced writers notes, which included the phrase, "Steven drinks OJ."

Cherry claims the phrase was a reference to Sheridan's on-screen hubby killing her character ... and Cherry also told jurors OJ was a reference to OJ Simpson, who famously killed his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman.